Crown Resorts director and cornerstone investor James Packer.
Crown Resorts director and cornerstone investor James Packer.

Packer’s $5000-a-night rehab stint

JAMES Packer has been spotted checking himself in to one of America's top psychiatric hospitals, an ultra-exclusive $35,000-a-week, 11-bedroom facility described as "the real deal" for "people who can spare no expense".

Accompanied by mother Ros Packer, who dashed to be by her son's side at his home in the Mexican resort town of Cabo before accompanying him to Boston, the 50-year-old entered the McLean Hospital in Belmont at 8pm on Thursday night, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"McLean is a medical facility and not a fake medical facility like some of these spas in Arizona," Boston Globe journalist Alex Beam, who wrote a book about the facility, told the paper.

"Harvey Weinstein would not fit in there. This is the real deal. People with real life drug problems or mental breakdowns are treated there. They also treat eating disorders. It's for people who can spare no expense. It's not where you hide out from the paparazzi or to avoid a judge - it's a medical facility."

Billionaire James Packer has checked himself into a Boston clinic with his mother. The facility which was featured in the film 'A Beautiful Mind...

Former patients include the poet Sylvia Plath and Nobel prize-winning mathematician John Nash, whose career and struggles with paranoid schizophrenia were detailed in the book and film A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe.

The son of late media mogul Kerry Packer shocked the world with the announcement this week that he was stepping down from his gambling empire Crown Resorts due to "mental health issues".

Mr Packer had previously opened up about his struggles with depression following the collapse of his telco company One.Tel in 2001 and the high-profile breakdown of his engagement to pop singer Mariah Carey last year.

News that Mr Packer was finally seeking professional treatment came as it emerged he had repeatedly begged ex-wife Erica Baxter to take him back. The couple separated five years ago, with Mr Packer saying he wanted to enjoy the pleasures of single life.

But Ms Baxter, mother of nine-year-old Indigo, eight-year-old Jackson and five-year-old Emmanuelle, does not want to expose their children to Mr Packer's "seismic" mood swings, according to The Daily Telegraph.

"Turning back the clock five years might be what James wants but it won't help Erica," a family friend told the paper. "She has finally got her life together and has created a stable life in Los Angeles for her kids.

"She doesn't want to undo the good work she's done with James repairing the relationship. As platonic friends they are good parents and his children get to see James at his best."

Mr Packer revealed recently that the family had spent their first Christmas together since the breakup at their luxurious home in the US ski resort of Aspen. Mr Packer told Fairfax it was "magical" and "the best Christmas I've ever had".

Earlier this week, Fairfax reported that Malcolm Turnbull became concerned about Mr Packer's health following a series of private emails in 2016 - touching on a variety of topics - in which the billionaire sounded "anxious", prompting a phone call from the Prime Minister to find out what was worrying his old friend.


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